Advertisement

Diurnal time-activity budgets of redheads (Aythya americana) wintering in seagrass beds and coastal ponds in Louisiana and Texas

  • Thomas C. Michot
  • Marc C. Woodin
  • Stephen E. Adair
  • E. Barry Moser
Part of the Developments in Hydrobiology book series (DIHY, volume 189)

Abstract

Diurnal time-activity budgets were determined for wintering redheads (Aythya americana) from estuarine seagrass beds in Louisiana (Chandeleur Sound) and Texas (Laguna Madre) and from ponds adjacent to the Laguna Madre. Activities differed (p<0.0001) by location, month, and diurnal time period. Resting and feeding were the most frequent activities of redheads at the two estuarine sites, whereas drinking was almost nonexistent. Birds on ponds in Texas engaged most frequently in resting and drinking, but feeding was very infrequent. Redheads from the Louisiana estuarine site rested less than birds in Texas at either the Laguna Madre or freshwater ponds. Redheads in Louisiana fed more than birds in Texas; this was partially because of weather differences (colder temperatures in Louisiana), but the location effect was still significant even when we adjusted the model for weather effects. Redheads in Louisiana showed increased resting and decreased feeding as winter progressed, but redheads in Texas did not exhibit a seasonal pattern in either resting or feeding. In Louisiana, birds maintained a high level of feeding activity during the early morning throughout the winter, whereas afternoon feeding tapered off in mid- to late-winter. Texas birds showed a shift from morning feeding in early winter to afternoon feeding in late winter. Males and females at both Chandeleur Sound and Laguna Madre showed differences in their activities, but because the absolute difference seldom exceeded 2%, biological significance is questionable. Diurnal time-activity budgets of redheads on the wintering grounds are influenced by water salinities and the use of dietary fresh water, as well as by weather conditions, tides, and perhaps vegetation differences between sites. The opportunity to osmoregulate via dietary freshwater, vs. via nasal salt glands, may have a significant effect on behavioral allocations.

Key words

Aythya americana behavior birds ducks energy estuaries feeding fresh water Louisiana redhead salt water seagrass Texas time-activity budgets winter 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Adair, S. E., 1990. Factors influencing wintering diving duck use of coastal ponds in south Texas. M.S. Thesis, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, 201 pp.Google Scholar
  2. Adair, S. E., J. L. Moore, W. H. Kiel Jr. & M. W. Weller, 1990. Winter ecology of redhead ducks in the Gulf Coast region. Final Report, Texas A&M University Cooperative Agreement No. 14-16-0009-87-909.Google Scholar
  3. Adair, S. E., J. L. Moore & W. H. Kiel Jr., 1996. Wintering diving duck use of coastal ponds: an analysis of alternative hypotheses. Journal of Wildlife Management 60: 83–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Aitchison, J., 1986. The Statistical Analysis of Compositional Data. Chapman and Hall, New York, NY.Google Scholar
  5. Altmann, J., 1974. Observational study of behavior: sampling methods. Behaviour 49: 227–267.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Bell, D. V. & L. W. Austin, 1985. The game-fishing season and its effects on overwintering wildfowl. Biological Conservation 33: 65–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bellrose, F. C., 1980. Ducks, Geese and Swans of North America 3rd edn. Stackpole Books, Harrisburg, PA 543 pp.Google Scholar
  8. Brodsky, L. M. & P. J. Weatherhead, 1984. Behavioural thermoregulation in wintering black ducks: roosting and resting. Canadian Journal of Zoology. 62: 1223–1226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cornelius, S. E., 1975. Food choice of wintering redhead ducks (Aythya americana) and utilization of available resources in lower Laguna Madre, Texas. M.S. Thesis. Texas A & M University, College Station, TX, 121 pp.Google Scholar
  10. Cornelius, S. E., 1977. Food and resource utilization by wintering redheads on Lower Laguna Madre. Journal of Wildlife Management 41: 374–385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cornelius, S. E., 1982. Wetland salinity and salt gland size in the redhead Aythya americana. Auk 99: 774–778.Google Scholar
  12. Cowardin, L. M., V. Carter, F. C. Golet & E. T. LaRoe, 1979. Classification of wetlands and deepwater habitats of the United States. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Biological Services, Washington, DC. FWS/OBS-79/31, 103 pp.Google Scholar
  13. Cotgreave, P. & D. H. Clayton, 1994. Comparative analysis of time spent grooming by birds in relation to parasite load. Behaviour 131: 171–187.Google Scholar
  14. Day, R. W. & G. P. Quinn, 1989. Comparisons of treatments after an analysis of variance in ecology. Ecological Monographs 58: 433–463.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hedgpeth, J. W., 1947. The Laguna Madre of Texas. Transactions of the North American Wildlife & Natural Resources Conference 12: 364–380.Google Scholar
  16. Jorde, D. G., G. L. Krapu, R. D. Crawford & M. A. Hay, 1984. Effects of weather on habitat selection and behavior of mallards wintering in Nebraska. Condor 86: 258–265.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Korschgen, C. E., L. S. George & W. L. Green, 1985. Disturbance of diving ducks by boaters on a migrational staging area. Wildlife Society Bulletin 13: 290–296.Google Scholar
  18. Madsen, J., 1988. Autumn feeding ecology of herbivorous wildfowl in the Danish Wadden Sea, and impact of food supplies and shooting on movements. Danish Review of Game Biology 13(4): 1–32.Google Scholar
  19. McMahan, C. A., 1970. Food habits of ducks wintering on Laguna Madre, Texas. Journal of Wildlife Management 34: 946–949.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Michot, T. C., 1997. Carrying capacity of seagrass beds predicted for redheads wintering in Chandeleur Sound, Louisiana, USA. In Goss-Custard, J., R. Rufino & A. Luis (eds), Effect of Habitat Loss and Change on Waterbirds. Institute of Terrestrial Ecology Symposium No. 30, Wetlands International Publication No. 42: 93–102.Google Scholar
  21. Michot, T.C., 2000. Comparison of wintering redhead populations in four Gulf of Mexico seagrass beds. In Comin, F. A., J. A. Herrera & J. Ramirez (eds), Limnology and Aquatic Birds: Monitoring, Modelling, and Management. Universidad Autonoma de Yucatan, Merida, Mexico: 243–260.Google Scholar
  22. Michot, T. C. & P. C. Chadwick, 1994. Winter biomass and nutrient values of three seagrass species as potential foods for redheads (Aythya americana Eyton) in Chandeleur Sound, Louisiana. Wetlands 14: 276–283.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Michot, T. C., M. Garvin & E. Weidner, 1995. Survey for blood parasites in redheads (Aythya americana) wintering at the Chandeleur Islands, Louisiana. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 31: 90–92.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Michot, T. C., E. B. Moser & W. Norling, 1994. Effects of weather and tides on feeding and flock positions of wintering redheads in the Chandeleur Sound, Louisiana. Hydrobiologia 279/280: 263–278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Michot, T. C. & A. J. Nault, 1993. Diet differences in redheads from nearshore and offshore zones in Louisiana. Journal of Wildlife Management 57: 238–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Michot, T. C. & M. C. Woodin, 1997. Redheads wintering in Louisiana and Texas have similar diets. Duck Specialist Group Bulletin 1: 13–14. Wetlands International, Wageningen, Netherlands.Google Scholar
  27. Michot, T. C. & M. C. Woodin, 2005. Redhead (Aythya americana). In J. Kear (ed.), Bird Families of the World: Ducks, Geese, and Swans. Oxford University Press, UK: 644–651.Google Scholar
  28. Miller, M. R., 1985. Time budgets of northern pintails wintering in the Sacramento Valley, California. Wildfowl 36: 53–64.Google Scholar
  29. Minot, E. O., 1980. Tidal, diurnal and habitat influences on common eider rearing activities. Ornis Scandanavica 11: 165–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Mitchell, C. A., 1992. Water depth predicts redhead distribution in the lower Laguna Madre, Texas. Wildlife Society Bulletin 20: 420–424.Google Scholar
  31. Mitchell, C. A., T. W. Custer & P. J. Zwank, 1992. Redhead duck behavior on lower Laguna Madre and adjacent ponds of southern Texas. Southwestern Naturalist 37: 65–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Mitchell, C. A., T. W. Custer & P. J. Zwank, 1994. Herbivory on shoalgrass by wintering redheads in Texas. Journal of Wildlife Management 58: 131–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Moore, J. L., 1991. Habitat-related activities and body mass of wintering redhead ducks on coastal ponds in south Texas. M.S. Thesis, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, 97 pp.Google Scholar
  34. Morton, J. M., A. C. Fowler & R. L. Kirkpatrick, 1989. Time and energy budgets of American black ducks in winter. Journal of Wildlife Management 53: 401–410.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. National Climatic Data Center, 1987–1989. Local Climatological Data, Corpus Christi, Texas, Monthly Summaries. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration.Google Scholar
  36. Onuf, C. P., 1996. Biomass patterns in seagrass meadows of the LagunaMadre, Texas. Bulletin of Marine Science 58: 404–420.Google Scholar
  37. Paulus, S. L., 1984. Activity budgets of nonbreeding gadwalls in Louisiana. Journal of Wildlife Management 48: 371–380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Paulus, S. L., 1988a. Time-activity budgets of mottled ducks in Louisiana in winter. Journal of Wildlife Management 52: 711–718.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Paulus, S. L., 1988b. Time-activity budgets of nonbreeding Anatidae: a review. In Weller, M. W. (ed.), Waterfowl in Winter. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, MN: 135–152.Google Scholar
  40. Perry, C. M., W. J. Kuenzel, B. K. Williams & J. A. Serafin, 1986. Influence of nutrients on feed intake and condition of captive canvasbacks in winter. Journal of Wildlife Management 50: 427–434.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Pethon, P., 1967. Food and feeding habits of the common eider (Somateria molissima). Nytt Magasin for Zoologi (Oslo) 15: 97–111.Google Scholar
  42. Pfister, C., B. A. Harrington & M. Lavine, 1992. The impact of human disturbance on shorebirds at a migration staging area. Biological Conservation 60: 115–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Pulich, W. M. Jr., 1980. Ecology of a hypersaline lagoon: the Laguna Madre. In Fore, P. L. & R. D. Peterson (eds), Proceedings of the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ecosystems Workshop. U. S. Fish Wildlife Service, Albuquerque, NM. FWS/OBS-80/30: 103–122.Google Scholar
  44. Rave, D. P. & G. A. Baldassare, 1989. Activity budget of green-winged teal wintering in coastal wetlands of Louisiana. Journal of Wildlife Management 53: 753–759.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Ritchie, W., K. A. Westphal, R. A. McBride & S. Penland, 1992. Coastal sand dunes of Louisiana: the Chandeleur Islands barrier system. Louisiana Geological Survey, Baton Rouge, LA. Coastal Geology Technical Report 7, 174 pp.Google Scholar
  46. Saunders, G. B. & D. C. Saunders, 1981. Waterfowl and their wintering grounds in Mexico. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Research Publication 138, Washington, DC, 157 pp.Google Scholar
  47. Schmidt-Nielsen, K. & Y. T. Kim, 1964. The effect of salt intake on the size and function of the salt gland in ducks. Auk 81: 160–172.Google Scholar
  48. Skoruppa, M. K. & M. C. Woodin, 2000. Impact of wintering redhead ducks on pond water quality in southern Texas. In Comin, F. A., J. A. Herrera & J. Ramirez (eds), Limnology and Aquatic Birds: Monitoring, Modelling, and Management. Universidad Autonoma de Yucatan, Merida, Mexico: 31–41.Google Scholar
  49. Tacha, T. C., W. D. Warde & K. P. Burnham, 1982. Use and interpretation of statistics in wildlife journals. Wildlife Society Bulletin 10: 355–362.Google Scholar
  50. Turnbull, R. E. & G. A. Baldassare, 1987. Activity budgets of mallards and American wigeon wintering in east-central Alabama. Wilson Bulletin 99: 457–464.Google Scholar
  51. Weller, M. W., 1964. Distribution and migration of the redhead. Journal of Wildlife Management 28: 64–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Woodin, M. C., 1994. Use of saltwater and freshwater habitats by wintering redheads in southern Texas. Hydrobiologia 279/280: 279–287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Woodin, M. C., 1996. The wintering ecology of redheads (Aythya americana) in the western Gulf of Mexico region. Gibier Faune Sauvage, Game and Wildlife 13: 653–665.Google Scholar
  54. Woodin, M. C. & T. C. Michot, 2002. Redhead (Aythya americana). In Poole, A. & F. Gill (eds), The Birds of North America, No. 695. The Birds of North America, Inc, Philadelphia, PA: 40.Google Scholar
  55. Woodin, M. C. & T. C. Michot, 2006. Foraging behavior of redheads (Aythya americana) wintering in Texas and Louisiana. Hydrobiologia 567: 129–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas C. Michot
    • 1
  • Marc C. Woodin
    • 2
  • Stephen E. Adair
    • 3
    • 4
  • E. Barry Moser
    • 5
  1. 1.U.S. Geological SurveyNational Wetlands Research CenterLafayetteUSA
  2. 2.U.S. Geological SurveyEnvironmental and Contaminants Research CenterCorpus ChristiUSA
  3. 3.Department of Wildlife and Fisheries SciencesTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  4. 4.Ducks Unlimited, Great Plains Regional OfficeBismarckUSA
  5. 5.Department of Experimental StatisticsLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA

Personalised recommendations